On Saturday, March 17, 2018, His Excellency Alphonso de Galarreta conferred the first of the Major Orders, the Subdiaconate, on 5 seminarians.
An account of the Subdiaconate ceremony at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary:
“ ‘All you that thirst, come to the waters’, said the Lord.”
On this day, 5 brave souls took a single step forward. It did not take much, effort-wise. But in that step was signified a separation and a dedication to God. In that step was contained a lifetime given freely to the service of the Almighty.
Five and a half years ago, by stepping into the Seminary, these young men signed a blank check. In all that time their resolve did not change. Now finally Our Lord has written the amount: their lives. From now on, there is no returning to the lay state. Yet it is without reserve that they give themselves. “Libenter! Freely!” is their cry. Their vocation has been chosen, their path is clear, and it is only two short steps more to the ultimate dignity of the priesthood.
One by one they called forward as the ceremony begins, called to a life set apart from the rest of men. “Adsum. I am here.” There is no hesitation. Freely they surrender their freedom. They take the step.
By that step they have sworn their perpetual vow of chastity. They have given up the married state for one more closely imitating the life of Our Lord and His Apostles. But it is not a mere bodily chastity to which they are called. All earthly attachments must be uprooted, so that being pure and cleansed of all stain, they may “be worthy to assist at the Divine Sacrifice, and to serve the Church of God, which is the Body of Christ.” (Roman Pontifical)
In addition, they are bound, under grave obligation, to recite daily the Divine Office in its entirety, joining Holy Mother Church in her perpetual praise of The Father through the words of His Son.
With the ordinandi humbly prostrated on the floor, those present sing the Litany of the Saints, begging the aid of the entire Church Triumphant to make these candidates worthy of their high calling.
Rising again the ordinandi touch their hands to the Chalice, the Paten, and the filled cruets, receiving from the Bishop in that moment the Order, powers, and obligations alike. After, they are vested with the Insignias of their Office: the Amice, the Maniple, and the Tunic. Finally, they touch the Epistolarium, receiving both the right and the duty to read the Epistle at Mass.
When Mass has finished, the Bishop exhorts them one final time to “live holy and religious lives, and to be pleasing to Almighty God.”
His Excellency intones the Te Deum, the Church’s highest hymn of praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God, begging His graces and blessings for the newly ordained and all of the Church Militant.
And Jesus said to them, ‘Amen I say to you, you who have followed Me who have left house, or brethren, or father, or mother, or wife, or children for My name’s sake shall receive an hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting.’